The end of the year invites us to reflect on the past and what we are thankful for. This is the perfect time to think about the future and our wishes, resolutions, and yearnings for this coming year. Many Latino families celebrate El Espíritu de la Navidad (the Christmas Spirit) every December 21, coinciding with the Winter Solstice.
The tradition of the ‘Espíritu de la Navidad’
Each December 21s, along with the winter solstice, we honor the visit of el Espíritu de la Navidad. This tradition has Celtic origins and has been expanding to other cultures around the world. The beliefs speak that this spirit is a divine being who comes down to visit us this day between 9 p.m and midnight and blesses the homes of those with good hearts and honest desires; it will take all these wishes and fulfill them. That’s why there are so many rituals in our culture to receive this energy and project it towards our deepest wishes.
Although it gives us the impression of being an esoteric ritual, it is actually more a celebration of gratitude, love, and purification, saying goodbye to the year with all the good and bad that it brought us, while we receive the new year with an open heart and attract prosperity and abundance to our lives.
A Ritual to do with your family
- Colored candles: red (represents love), green (represents health), blue (represents confidence and hope), yellow (represents the earth and prosperity), and white (represents the connection with the spirit).
- Mandarin incense
- Essence of mandarin (symbol of abundance)
- Pencil and paper
- Clean your house and light the incenses to aromatize.
- Place the candles in a triangle shape on a tray or directly on the table.
- Place a few drops of tangerine essence on the window and door frames.
- When it is 20 minutes to midnight, light the candles counterclockwise.
- Write one letter with a small prayer to the spirit and 21 wishes you have for the year to come and keep it somewhere safe until the next ritual in a year to burn one by one the wishes that were fulfilled.
- Put the letters near the incense and let them be impregnated with the smoke and the smell of tangerine.
The tradition says you must begin with a short prayer of your own inspiration, welcoming El Espíritu De La Navidad into your home and receiving it with an open heart, thanking it for all the blessings.
Then write the list of 21 wishes, starting with the more general things and for the good of others and ending with the more personal wishes. Keep in mind that this ritual’s objective is a deeply spiritual one, so all material thoughts must be kept at bay.